The Perfect Paddl Profile: 5 Tips to Improve Your Employability

June 19, 2017
By Jordan McNamara

Your Paddl profile is one of the most important pieces in your toolkit to help you land that next dream job. It’s crucial that before you apply for a position on Paddl, whether it’s a full-time role, internship or one-off experience - your Paddl profile is up to date and effectively communicates who you are, what you’re passionate about and what you can bring to the table.

Here on Paddl, you’re part of a community of incredibly bright and talented people. It’s our job to bring you relevant, valuable experiences and jobs - but it’s up to you to make the most of them. Don’t worry though, we’re here to help you! And a well-crafted Paddl profile is one of the key ways to make sure dream opportunities don’t slip away.

The best part? It’s not hard at all… Here are 5 tips you can follow to make sure that your Paddl profile stands out to employers.

Tip One: You NEED a profile picture

Ideally, a professional photo that clearly shows your face. (No selfies from 2am last Friday night!)

A profile picture on your Paddl profile is one of the most important (and easiest) ways you can improve your chances of securing an opportunity on Paddl. Not only does it appear on your profile page, but it also shows alongside every message you send to an employer

Here's how to choose the right profile picture:

  1. It is clear.
    Your profile picture should be well-lit & high-quality. Avoid low resolution, grainy or dark images.
     
  2. It is professional.
    This doesn’t mean it needs to be taken by a professional photographer - it means that you should be presenting yourself the same way in which you would in an interview (no drunken selfies!).
     
  3. Ideally, it shows your real face.
    By using a profile picture which features your real face, you immediately enhance your trustability and create a personal connection with the employer.

    After all - if you do get the role, your new colleagues will quickly learn you don't actually look much like the random illustration you used on your profile anyway...  
     
  4. Smile, and show a bit of personality!
    Just because your profile picture should be professional, it doesn’t mean you can’t show some personality! Send some positive vibes through your photo - after all, a picture tells a thousand words!

Tip Two: Your profile summary is not your resume

Do: Be personal, show some personality and explain what drives you, your skills & passions. Don’t: List every job you’ve ever had and the grades you received in every class.

Paddl drops the concept of a resume - thanks to the way our system matches you with jobs based on your education and qualifies applicants through Challenges, a resume simply isn’t needed! So don’t replicate it on your profile summary.

What you should do instead, is use this space to introduce yourself to a potential employer. Instead of impersonally listing every job you’ve ever had, or the grades you’ve received in every class - aim to succinctly summarise who you are, what you’re good at and what drives you.

Insert some personality too - do you love to travel? Mention it! For example, you might say:

“Hi! I’m Jordan, I’m a third-year psychology student and am driven by a deep desire to understand the motivations behind human behaviour. I also love to travel!”
 

Tip Three: Short & sharp, but it has to be concise

Your profile summary should be just that - a summary. However, you still need to include key information about yourself that explains why you’re a great candidate for a role.

A good way to start is by thinking about and quickly writing down what the most important things you want to communicate in your profile summary are. This could be your top skills (what you’re good at and love to do), some of the standout work experience you’ve had in the past, projects you’ve done at school that you’re particularly proud of and the main things you’re looking for in your career.

Take this list, and then break it out into a short, well-structured summary. Avoid long-winded paragraphs & walls of text & consider using bullet points where possible to communicate more with less words.

Remember, if an employer has questions for you they will ask you as part of the application process. And, if you want to provide more detail on your skills or experience - you can do this when applying for the role.
 

Tip Four: Use Markdown to format your profile summary text

By formatting the text in your profile summary, you can draw attention to key points and make it easier to read.

Did you know that Paddl supports the use of basic Markdown to format your profile summary? Markdown is a simple, common standard across the web that allows you to format text making it easier to read and helping you highlight key information.

You can do things like bolding your text or italicising it, add bullet points and much more.

By formatting your profile summary in a way that draws attention to your key skills and makes it simpler for an employer to read, you’re making it that much easier for them to quickly understand who you are, and why you're the right person for the job.

Check out our help centre article explaining how to use Markdown to format your text.
 

Tip Five: Proofread, review & edit (and once more to be safe)

Incorrect spelling, poor grammar and sloppy writing do not make a great impression.

Your profile summary is one of the key places you have at your disposal to make a strong first impression on an employer. Letting careless mistakes slip in can dramatically reduce your chances at being offered a position.

Once you’ve drafted a profile summary you’re happy with, read it (and then read it again) for any spelling mistakes, grammar flaws or obvious structural problems. If you can, ask someone else to check over it for you too (fresh eyes can make all the difference).

That’s it!
By taking some time to properly set up your Paddl profile you will increase your chances at getting offered that next dream gig. Don’t wait until you're about to apply for a role to get started, set up your profile now so you're able to focus on putting together a great application when the time comes. Good luck!